Family - Droseraceae - Drosera peltata Sm. - PALE SUNDEW - Mao gao cai

Scientific names

Drosera peltata Sm.
Drosera lunata Buch.-Ham. ex DC.
Drosera rotundifolia
Drosera lobbiana Turcz.

Other vernacular names

INDIAN: Mukhjali.

Common names

Bain (Ig.)
Gumgumayeng (Bon.)
Ruut (Ig.)
Sanabugan (Ig.)
Pale sundew (Engl.)
Shield sundew (Engl.)
Mao gao cai (Chin.)

Gen info 
Genus Drosera Vahl, popularly known as Sundews, is one of the largest genuses of carnivorous plants with over 105 species belonging to the family Droseraceae. The species use mucilage-secreting glandular hairs to trap prey.

The earliest documented use of Drosera species dates back to the 12th Century, when Matthaeus Platearius, an Italian physician, described it use as a cough remedy.


Bain is a perennial tuberous herb. The tuber is usually 4-6 centimeters under the soil surface. Aerial parts are 5 to 50 centimeters high. with erect, leafy stem, 8 to 25 centimeters high. Leaves are alternate, long-petioled, lunate-peltate, more evident at the soil surface. Flowers are usually white, but may be variable in color. Sepals are ovate, smooth, erose or fimbriate. Seeds are obovoid, with prominently reticulated fascia.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Antimicrobial activity of aerial parts of Drosera peltata Smith on oral bacteria / Nicole Didry, Luc Dubreuli et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 60, Issue 1, February 1998, Pages 91-96, doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(97)00129-3

(2) Chemical constituents of Drosera peltata Smith var. lunata (Buch.-Ham.) C.B. clarke collected in Tibet / Wang Q, Shu J, Zeng L / Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 1998 Nov;23(11):683-4, 704.

(3) DCBT1234-Lung KR / Common Respiratory Diseases, Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice – Volume 37, Issue 2 (June 2010

(4) Plant-based formulation in the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a randomized double-blind study / Murali PM, Rajasekaran S, Paramesh P et al / Respir Med. 2006 Jan;100(1):39-45.

(5) Drosera peltata–Handbook on Medicinal Herbs with Uses / H Panda / Good Books

(6) Chemical constituents of Drosera peltata Smith var. lunata (Buch.-Ham.) C.B. clarke collected in Tibet / Wang Q, Shu J, Zeng L. / Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 1998 Nov;23(11):683-4, 704.

– Common in Bontoc and Benguet Subprovinces, and Zambales Province in Luzon.
– On open, grassy slopes, in thin pine forests, at an altitude of from 1,000 to 1,800 meters.
– Also occurs in India to Japan, and southward to Tasmania.

– Leaf extract yields a proteolytic enzyme.
– Contains naphthoquinones like plumbagin, droserone, hydroserone, besides flavanols, quercetin, gossypetin, gossypin, isogossypetin and proteolytic enzymes of the pepsin type (Yoganarasimhyan, 2002).
– Study yielded five crystalline compounds were obtained and elucidated as plumbagin, droserone, hydroxydroserone, beta-sitosterol, and stigmasterol.

– Bitter, acrid, and caustic flavor.
– Leaves have an insectivorous property.
– Considered alterative, anodyne, blood tonic, carminative, rubefacient.

Parts used
Leaves, aerial parts.

– Igorots dry and powder to leaves to place in the cavity of aching teeth.
– Plant is used in phthisis.
– Used for asthma, hoarseness, and whooping cough.
– In Kumaon leaves, bruised and mixed with salt, are used as blister. The same practice is done in Kanawar, with the use of salt.
– Vaidyas use the plant for reducing gold to powder. A gold coin is enclosed in plant paste, the burned thoroughly, reducing the gold to powder; the powder is used in grain doses as tonic and antiseptic. Drug also used for phthisis.
– Resin from plant used in bronchitis and whooping cough.
– Plant used as antisyphilitic.

Study Findings
– Antimicrobial / Caires / Periodontitis: A chloroform extract of the aerial parts of Drosera peltata showed the most significant antimicrobial activity against oral bacteria. Results suggest DP could be used in the treatment of oral infectious diseases like dental caries and periodontitis.
– Constituents: Study of whole plant of D. peltata var. lunata yielded five crystalline compounds: plumbagin, droserone, hydrodroserone, beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol.
– DCBT1234-Lung KR / Respiratory Benefits / COPD: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled clinical study comparing 6 months of a plant based formulation of 3 herbs (Bryonia alba, Drosera peltata, and Cephaelis ipecacuanha) against a combination of oral salmeterol, theophylline and bromhexine (STB) and both against placebo, patients treated with DCBT 1234-Lung KR showed statistically significant (95%) improvement in FEV1 and PaO2 (oxygen) compared with STB in control of symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, cough, expectorations, disability and sleep disturbances.
– COPD:Using FEIV1 and arterial blood gases values, DCBT1234-Lung KR was equivalent, if not better than present day treatment with salbutamol, theophylline and bromhexine combination in COPD.

– Wild-crafted.
– Ingredient of many cough preparations.
– A solitary or an ingredient of 200-300 registered medications.